((بزرگترین گناه ترس است. (حضرت علی (ع
Thus, writes the national security advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski:
Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for
demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies
they want to pursue.
...The terror entrepreneurs, usually described as experts on terrorism,
are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence.
Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats.
That puts a premium on the presentation of credible scenarios of
ever-more-horrifying acts of violence, sometimes even with blueprints
for their implementation.
...That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly
debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified
160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be
terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the
list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to
77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000
items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple
and Pork Festival.
...The entertainment industry has also jumped into the act. Hence the TV
serials and films in which the evil characters have recognizable Arab
features, sometimes highlighted by religious gestures, that exploit
public anxiety and stimulate Islamophobia. Arab facial stereotypes,
particularly in newspaper cartoons, have at times been rendered in a
manner sadly reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic campaigns. Lately,
even some college student organizations have become involved in such
propagation, apparently oblivious to the menacing connection between
the stimulation of racial and religious hatreds and the unleashing of
the unprecedented crimes of the Holocaust.
...A case in point is the reported harassment of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its attempts to emulate, not very
successfully, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist
apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for
a panel discussion.
There is more. Read the full text in the online edition of The Washington Post.
[Note: I have puzzled about the changes in Zbigniew Brzezinski's views for some time. He was seen as the hawk in Carter's administration. Among other things, he has been credited by some for inciting Saddam against Iran. Perhaps, his realism has helped him recognize the subtleties of the current conditions much faster than other strategists.]